WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Store robbery, plus 2 followups, including 9 catalytic converters found in 1 suspect’s car

One West Seattle Crime Watch report and two followups:

STORE ROBBERY: The 35th/Avalon 7-11 was held up around 2 am, according to a preliminary police report. The report is brief but says there were three robbers – two with guns – and that they got away with cash and cigarettes.

Two followups on recent reports:

SUSPECTED CATALYTIC-CONVERTER THIEF: Last Thursday, we reported on an arrest of someone suspected of stealing a catalytic converter in Arbor Heights, reported by a neighbor. When the suspect, a 38-year-old West Seattle man, appeared in court the next day, the judge only found probable cause for drug possession – police say they found him in possession of 355 Percocet pills and 47 grams of meth – and let him go on personal recognizance. As noted in our original report, police impounded the suspect’s vehicle. They subsequently got a search warrant for it and here’s what a new report says they found inside: 9 catalytic converters, a “potentially stolen firearm loaded with (13) 10 mm rounds,” two types of heroin totaling 137 grams, “various miscellaneous pills,” and more than $17,000 in cash. The suspect, who we’re not naming because he’s not yet charged, has a felony record, most recently a drug conviction in 2014, also including catalytic-converter theft in a case a decade ago.

PM UPDATE: SPD Blotter has now featured this case, including photos of some of what was found in the suspect’s car, such as this gun:

Meantime, we reconfirmed with the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office that the search-warrant info was not available when the suspect went before a judge the day after the arrest.

CAR ATTACK: Last Wednesday, we reported on a mother and daughter being attacked in their car in the Fairmount area; the daughter fought back with a knife handle, and the attacker fled; an arrest was made blocks away. The City Attorney’s Office has since filed misdemeanor charges of assault and trespassing against the suspect, 38-year-old Benjamin C. Orr, who remains jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail.

39 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Store robbery, plus 2 followups, including 9 catalytic converters found in 1 suspect's car"

  • Ron M July 27, 2021 (11:53 am)

    Wow, the first guy was released on PR, that’s insane.

  • bikerep July 27, 2021 (11:53 am)

    “police say they found him in possession of 355 Percocet pills and 47 grams of meth – and let him go on personal recognizance”seems about right..

    • WSB July 27, 2021 (12:14 pm)

      Just to be clear for those who skim: A judge let him go on personal recognizance, not police. On the “superform,” they checked the box “object to release,” noting his record.

      • B July 27, 2021 (3:46 pm)

        We are all wondering how so much Heroin and Meth has come into Seattle, so maybe the judge could help by calling it what it is. Trafficking and distributing. Not possession. If you are possessing that much of a drug anywhere but your residence, it is trafficking and intent to distribute. An easy tweak that could be made to the spirit of these ‘laws'(?) if the city council could just demand it.

        • WSB July 27, 2021 (3:47 pm)

          This isn’t a city law. This would be state law.

  • ACG July 27, 2021 (12:13 pm)

    Re: catalytic converter theft case:  Just wanting g to be clear… did the search of the vehicle occur AFTER the suspect went before the judge?  If so, can additional charges be levied against the suspect?And so thankful the mom and daughter in the Fairmount area are okay. The daughter was so brave. How terrifying. 

  • 1994 July 27, 2021 (12:22 pm)

    Amazing he appeared in court but so disappointing to read he was let go on personal recognizance! What in the world is a person doing with 355 Percocet pills? The judge has no idea? But another yeah to the observant neighbor who called the police!!When the suspect, a 38-year-old West Seattle man, appeared in court the next day, the judge only found probable cause for drug possession – police say they found him in possession of 355 Percocet pills and 47 grams of meth – and let him go on personal recognizance.

  • NRV July 27, 2021 (12:23 pm)

    It seems that 7-11 stores are usual targets for these crimes? Is that right WSB? I feel for the people that need to work there during the night…

  • Eric1 July 27, 2021 (12:33 pm)

    The large amount of of drugs in his  posession should result in a no bail situation.  The judge only found probable cause for drug possession??? I guess the judge didn’t find it unusual to have 9 catalytic converters in his car? And if you wonder why there is a rash of gun violence, blame the courts. Felon in posession of a stolen firearm should automatically result in mandatory jail time, not release. Yet he is out, presumably free to resume his chosen profession(s); obviously armed with a gun. This city/county is so screwed up. 

    • WSB July 27, 2021 (12:48 pm)

      The search-warrant results were after the initial hearing.

  • PG July 27, 2021 (12:34 pm)

    Does anyone know who the judge was?

  • Dunno July 27, 2021 (12:44 pm)

    I’ll bet he has no idea how that possibly illegal or stolen gun got into the car.  Folks, check your cars and houses because guns have two legs and could be anywhere.    But I’ll bet  he’s claiming the $17,000 belongs to him!  Time to defund the criminals?

    • MeltThem Down July 27, 2021 (1:24 pm)

      I agree with Dunno.  Folks, please ascertain that your guns are securely locked away or disabled just incase someone, be it thief or child, stumbles upon them.Not owning a firearm allows me freedom from household firearm  worries whether thieves, family, friends, children or myself.  Even the data support firearm free homes are safer than those weaponized.By accident or intentional, firearms are deadly efficient in carrying out their Devine mission of maiming and death.

      • Lucy July 27, 2021 (6:32 pm)

        Good for you. That is your right as an American.  

        • heartless July 27, 2021 (6:56 pm)

          As an American?  What countries demand citizens own guns?  Wouldn’t that be their right, uh, anywhere?

          • Lucy July 27, 2021 (7:02 pm)

            He has the right to choose whether to own a firearm.  Or not.  

          • heartless July 27, 2021 (7:53 pm)

            Yeah, that makes sense.  But they were talking about NOT owning a gun (I mean, really, really clearly), and then you were all well, you have that right as an American, wherein you were (intentionally or not) referring to the choice to not own a gun.  Kinda weird is all.  

          • Rhonda July 27, 2021 (8:45 pm)

            No other Nation on the globe has a Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.

  • Karen July 27, 2021 (12:52 pm)

    Released on PR…… WHY??  and only $10,000 bond on the attacker.Get out and vote in attempt to get things changed. Criminals are in power  right now. Individual rights are SO upside down. 

  • anonyme July 27, 2021 (1:37 pm)

    I don’t see why the warrant wasn’t expedited so that the full extent of the crimes committed could be known before the court appearance – not after this guy has walked away, possibly never to be seen again.  As he was caught stealing a catalytic converter, it stands to reason that there would be evidence in the trunk.  Nor do I understand why attacking two women inside their car is only a misdemeanor.  I’ve always been fascinated by the ins and outs of law, but these days it is making very little sense.

    • Marie July 27, 2021 (1:59 pm)

      What the F!!!!!! This is insanity.

    • anonyme July 27, 2021 (3:05 pm)

      I would also hope that, given what was found in the trunk, that the PR will be revoked and an immediate warrant issued for his arrest.  As for things changing, I have been hearing buzz about Ann Davison as a replacement for Pete Holmes.  However, after doing some investigation, I found Davison just as lame and full of drivel as the rest.  We need someone in local govenment who will enforce the law, even though many laws have been weakened and watered down in recent years.

      • heartless July 27, 2021 (7:02 pm)

        I have also been puzzled by the number of laws here that are a) on the books and b) not enforced.  

        These laws range from parking facing the wrong way, to fireworks, to issues with dogs, to much more serious topics–but the commonality is: laws that seems to exist but are rarely enforced.

        This is a problem for various reasons that should be apparent to people regardless of their political leanings.

        • AdmiralBridge July 27, 2021 (8:22 pm)

          They’re not laws, they’re more like guidelines        

          • anonyme July 28, 2021 (6:55 am)

            AdmiralBridge, your comment reminds me of something a friend told me long ago about living in Rome.  He said that in Rome, traffic signals were considered a matter of opinion.  This resulted in traffic jams that sometimes took literally days to clear.  People would just get out of their cars and walk away.  “Guidelines” are useless, especially these days when so many adults seem to suffer from juvenile oppositional defiant disorder.

      • candrewb July 28, 2021 (7:43 am)

        Davison is the better choice for everyone except the criminals.

  • UselessPoliticians July 27, 2021 (1:41 pm)

    Why is anyone surprised at the crime or the criminals being let go?  Only gonna get worse as our useless politicians continue to enact laws, programs and ideology helping criminals and not victims. 

  • Sillygoose July 27, 2021 (2:54 pm)

    And this folks is why we are losing our officers who spend countless hours to solve these crimes against repeat offenders only to have some judge release them.  Do you think this criminal will appear for his court hearing HELL NO!!  Then a warrant and once again countless hours spent trying to locate him, what a waste of our tax dollars and officers’ time!!  Please post the judge’s name so I can make sure I never put a checkmark in that box!!!

    • winniegirl July 27, 2021 (5:49 pm)

      Do they, though?  The Seattle Police have a clearance rate of less than 50% for violent crimes and less then 20% for property theft (according to the FBI). They don’t prevent crime and they don’t solve crime. They do respond to crime, which is a service. This is why community policing is worth investing in.

      • UselessPoliticians July 27, 2021 (7:23 pm)

        Yeah because having mall cops will be so effective.

    • old timer July 27, 2021 (5:52 pm)

      Regarding those Judge elections, why is it that  almost every “election” opportunity only has one candidate for the position?  Some do-not-compete protocol in operation?   When the “choice” is only one, that means someone has decided for you.  The “choice” will go into office regardless of what you do.

      • anonyme July 28, 2021 (6:46 am)

        Old Timer, you are absolutely right.  This is a big problem.  I’ve long advocated for a “none of the above” option on ballots, but what if that selection carried weight?  As in, counting as a vote for a candidate even though there is none?  It would be a way to get a useless but unchallenged judge out of office, or to counterbalance a roster of lousy candidates.  This still would not solve the problem of how to get effective judges in, only ineffective ones out, but at least it would be a start…?

  • Cogburn July 27, 2021 (5:46 pm)

    We have an election coming up. Let’s send Pete Holmes and most of the council packing.  There are good choices for mayor and city attorney, not so much for council

    • WSB July 27, 2021 (6:51 pm)

      For accuracy’s sake: You can’t send “most of the council packing” in this election, Two of the nine positions are on the ballot. The other seven are not up until 2023; you will have one on your ballot then, since they are district seats. (The two on this ballot are citywide, aka “at large.”)

  • Jim July 27, 2021 (6:20 pm)

    To repeat the question – who was that judge?

    • WSB July 27, 2021 (6:45 pm)

      If I knew, I would have included it.

  • WS Resident July 27, 2021 (7:13 pm)

    The “suspect” felt comfortable enough to have $17,000 in his trunk.  Betcha he has lot’s more than that stashed elsewhere.  He will retrieve any cash he can and then will be flee the state.  Almost guaranteed to be arrested again due to future criminal acts in another state.  And yes, shame on me for not assuming he will take this last arrest as a wake up call and will reform himself and become a model citizen.  We will see if he even shows up for Court.  Betcha not.  Stay tuned and time will tell….

  • Meryl August 1, 2021 (9:34 pm)

    WSB_ do you know if the catalytic converter thief and drug dealer is now in custody? The police blotter doesnt say. Thanks, Meryl

    • WSB August 1, 2021 (9:49 pm)

      He is not in the KCJ and as far as I can tell from watching the system, he has not yet been charged, though that was expected to be happening sooner rather than later. Once it does, we’ll report it.

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